CHICAGO — If you thought Game 1 was a regular stomp-fest, all signs point to the Heat mistaking Chicago for Pamplona. After the Bulls steam rolled Miami 103-82, a lot of questions were answered by the Bulls in megaphone like fashion.
For starters, the questions surrounding whether or not the Bulls could handle a Heat team at 100% was answered with the simple disrespect Chicago showed Miami’s defense in the second half. It was also answered by the fact Chicago’s defense came alive like it hadn’t before in all these playoffs.
Any and all questions regarding the integrity and talents of Luol Deng, The Bench Mob and everyone else not named Derrick Rose were thrown away with a violent night by the like of Deng and Taj Gibson.
But going into Game 2, there are still questions its just a new line of them. Yes, the Bulls are well on their way to silencing the critics who wrote them off at the beginning of the year when they didn’t land James or at the beginning of every series they have played in during the playoffs; but the fact of the matter still remains that Game 1 could have been a fluke.
The unlikeliness of this lies in the stats and the tape of Game 1, but given the way Chicago has played so far in the playoffs you can’t count anything out.
That being said, if the Bulls can pull out a Game 2 thrashing much like they handed out in Game 1 and send this series back to South Beach up 2-0, well then folks we are looking at an entirely different scenario than previously predicted. In a series where Miami was supposed to sweep given their effectiveness in the playoffs up to that point, if the Bulls actually win two games what are we supposed to believe then?
Same goes for if the beatdown shoe is on the other foot and Chicago receives a lashing that breaks their spirit, what will happen then?
The truth is, the number really do mean nothing in this series. Unless it is happening live and in color, the things that happened in Game 1 are irrelevant to what will be happening in Game 2 and Game 3 after that. So what Dwayne Wade got posterized by Taj Gibson, do you really think he’s losing sleep over it or do you think he’s going to come out in Game 2 with more authority than in Game 1?
Do you think LeBron James is going to shoot the same percentage he did in Game 1 simply because the game is at the same site?
This is the Eastern Conference Finals and with the spotlight of the NBA world zeroed in on Miami and Chicago, it doesn’t matter to the players who take the court what they did in Game 1. The bottom line is these players are elites and they wouldn’t be in the situation they are if they dwelled on the past.
Do you think Chris Bosh went over twenty points in Game 1 because he lost sleep the night before about going 1-18 against the Bulls in a game during the season? Or is it because he didn’t dwell in the past and progressed during the season to get to the point in his game he is at?
A lot is made of what happened but what really matters is what WILL happen. Chicago is not in the NBA Finals yet and can still get bounced from the playoffs. Miami (as we all learned Sunday) is also not in the Finals yet. They play seven for a reason, and that reason is one game does not a series decide.
But give a team two games and you start to get a better picture of what is going on.
There is this (false) notion that the Heat are broken because they failed so miserably and in such an embarrassing fashion in Game 1. This is not the case and no one should be under this impression. The Heat are now being underestimated the same way the Bulls were coming into this series. Everyone thought Chicago was toast because Miami handled the Celtics, one of the Conference’s titans.
But like the Heat are now, those who thought this of Chicago were under a false notion. They were seemingly under the impression that the Bulls were the Celtics. Or they were digging into numbers of the past which pointed to the Celtics and the Bulls splitting, which must mean if the Heat beat the Celtics they can certaintly beat the team that split with them.
Just another reason why numbers that happened don’t matter in the happening.
Chicago is looking to be the team two steps ahead on Wednesday as some are saying that a win will decide the series. Game 1 gave us a good indication of what Chicago is capable of doing and the devastation they can wreck when they are as good as they can be. If we see more of the same in Game 2 then chances are a lot of people may have been wrong about this series.
No doubt it will still be competitive and I’m a firm believer that this Conference Finals showdown will not end in a sweep, but how and why it is competitive will be very telling of who controls the series. A win in Game 2 for the Bulls will tally a vote for this series being competitive because the Heat are fighting for their lives against a Bulls team who controls this series.
Josh Hill is the Editor and Lead Writer of PIPPEN AIN’T EASY. You can follow Pippen Ain’t Easy on Twitter or on Facebook to keep up with the best and most unique Bulls news anywhere.